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You’re probably reading this because you have or know a child that needs help and encouragement to calm down or de-stress from a emotionally charged situation. It’s good to keep in mind that these type of situations can be triggered by both positive or negative circumstances.
I have a son who struggles with anxiety and stress, he is emotionally over-charged by all types of situations. For example, when he’s going to a friends house to play he gets so excited and thinks about it all day and has 500 hundred questions about it or the complete opposite if he’s afraid that something may happen whether it be rational or irrational both of theses types of situations require for him to have a calm down time.
One phrase he hears a lot from us is “calm down” or “chill out”. He constantly needs this reminder. So when I was asked to come up with some calming activities I had quite a few ideas up my sleeves. We actually have used these activities for various situations:
- Inclement weather
- Waiting for something to happen: a party or dentist appointment.
- Doctor appointments
- Upset and angry cool down time
What I suggest is have a “Calm Down Kit” handy around your house. You can use a basket, a tote bag or just a plain zip-loc bag.
Calm Down Kit for Kids & Activities
What you’ll need:
- Stress Balloons (make your own, see instructions below)
- coloring books
- crayons and/or markers
- Calming Count Box
- Flashlights (Duracell batteries)
- Favorite books
Put all of these items in a box and have it around for when you need to put those items to use. We are taking some of these same items on the plane with us to keep the kids calm during take off and landing.
- Play dough
Fill your balloon with play dough. I’ll show you the method I used to make this process easier on me.
How to use your kit in case of an inclement weather emergency such as a tornado watch. Have your child grab their calm down kit. Always keep batteries in your kit (we like Duracell) to make sure you can use your flashlights incase of power outages to keep you safe and prepared for a storm or disaster. Below I share some fun flashlight games to keep the kiddos calm and entertained during a weather emergency: Flashlight Beam or shadow puppets.
Flashlight Beam game requires for it to be some what dark and then have your child hit the target object with their flashlight beam. You can call out the object and time them to make it more challenging.
Shadow Puppets – You’ll need a dark room and a flashlight pointing at the wall. Then you’ll place your hand in between the light and the wall and make fun shadow puppets: dogs, crocodile, bird…
Stress balloons- can be used in any given situation. As I mentioned above we’ll be taking ours on our plane trip tomorrow. Have these handy in your Calm Down Time box. At some point in the future I will share with you how to make a Calming Count Box but I’ll briefly explain just use pom poms and place them in a canister with a lid and hole. Have your child dump them all out and count them as they place them back inside. They can even practice breathing in and out deeply as they count.
And as always here’s the shop details at Walmart: Duracell Quantum or Coppertop batteries.